Michael Sam Cut: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Michael Sam


Michael Sam could end up on an NFL roster this year. But he won’t be on the St. Louis Rams’ 53-man squad when the Rams open the season.

Sam, who’s trying to become the first openly gay player to play in an NFL regular season game, was cut Saturday when St. Louis trimmed its roster from 75 players to 53. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Sam Played Well in the Preseason

So much for the notion that Sam would be a distraction or not fit in in the Rams’ locker room. Sam generally got rave reviews from his teammates, and the closest thing during camp to a “distraction” had nothing to do with anything Sam did and everything to do with what ESPN admitted was sloppy reporting by Josina Anderson.

Anderson, citing an anonymous player, reported live on the air that Sam appeared hesitant to shower at the same time as his teammates. The report was widely ridiculed and ESPN issued a public apology to the Rams for not living up to the network’s reporting standards.

Josina Anderson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

ESPN reporter Josina Anderson received an avalanche of criticism after reporting on the air about Michael Sam's showering habits.

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  1. Where are the individual news coverage reports of all the other players cut this week? Seems he was cut due to skills like all the other players, but will make a roster due his media viability for a team that wants some extra attention – thanks media….

    • Anonymous: First, who’s saying his release was anything other than a football decision?

      There’s no suggestion either on our site or any others that he was cut for being gay. All indications are he was cut simply because the Rams had a lot of defense line depth. If you can find an article or column suggesting he was cut for being gay, please send me the link. I’ve read a lot of content about him and haven’t seen one person make that suggestion.

      As for coverage of other players being cut: First, there IS a lot of content on a lot of sites about other players being cut. But there’s substantially more coverage of Sam because in trying to make an NFL roster as an openly gay man, he’s doing something no one has done before.

      It’s by no means an apples-to-apples comparison, but people care more about his status than that of the average player for the same reason that they cared more about Jackie Robinson’s Major League debut in 1947 than that of any other rookie.

      If there was a long history of openly gay players in the NFL, there would be substantially less attention on Sam. The reason there’s so much interest in his status is that he’s trying to make history.

      Steve Buckley wrote a terrific column in the Boston Herald addressing a similar situation when UMass basketball player Derrick Gordon came out as gay earlier this year. Here’s a link if you’d like to give it a read. It might help answer some of your questions.

  2. Being a distraction takes away from the TEAM. Being gay doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things but having a press conference about it launched him into a spotlight that overshadows the team. I’m sure there are many gay players and I’m sure some teammates know about them. It’s not a big thing until it’s made the focus of the individual versus his talents and what he brings to the table for his team. Bad timing on his part. He should have proven his abilities and showed selflessness BEFORE coming ” out” . it wouldn’t matter then. Good luck Sam. Hope it works out for you; you’re a decent player.